Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - For over a year there has been no news of Fr. Gabriel Oyaka, a Nigerian Spiritan father (Congregation of the Holy Spirit), who was kidnapped on September 7, 2015 in Kogi State (see Fides 10/09/2015). Speaking at a press conference after Mass celebrated in honour of the kidnapped priest, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, said that there had been no call or demand for ransom made by his abductors, stressing that it is up to the authorities to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. "The government has a responsibility to protect lives and properties of its citizens and the church cannot do anything except the government do their job", said the Cardinal.
Referring to several cases of abductions of innocent citizens, among which there are several priests, the Cardinal noted that "This is a tragedy that has overtaken our land and the name keeps on recurring that Fulani herdsmen are behind all these killings, kidnappings and destructions of lives and property in the Country".
The Fulani herdsmen are accused of having attacked several villages of farmers as they move in search of new pastures for their flocks. "From my own observation, we are faced with national emergency and the whole country should come together to find out ways to end this militancy", he concluded. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/01/2017)